Koko reveals half of PDP-Laban’s possible ‘Magic 12’
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III disclosed on Friday the partial list of senatorial bets that the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) would possibly consider for the upcoming 2019 senatorial election.
Pimentel, who is also the president of PDP-Laban, said that those who could join him in the party’s “Magic 12” are House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino.
Before moving to PDP-Laban, Benitez, Roman and Tolentino were allies of the Liberal Party during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
However, Pimentel said in a text message that the list is still unofficial as it was “just my personal preferences” and that coming up with the lineup of 12 senatorial candidates is “a developing/evolving” matter, hence, not final.
Pimentel also said that he has yet to personally discuss the issue with the prospective candidates.
Nevertheless, Pimentel assured that the PDP-Laban, President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, will try its best to have a complete 12-member slate.
But in case the slots would not be filled up, Pimentel said the party is open to forging alliances with other political parties.
“If incumbent re-electionist senators join the party, then they will enjoy priority in inclusion in the slate,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel also said he plans to ask House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to become the party’s national campaign manager for the 2019 elections. /kga